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Montreux Jazz Academy 2017 Program

Montreux Jazz Academy 2017 Program

For its third edition, from 3 to 10 March 2017, the Montreux Jazz Academy will host ten talented young musicians in the vibrant Flon area of Lausanne. The public will be able to enjoy the event free of charge through concerts, jam sessions, and workshops featuring the Academy's prestigious mentors: Yaron Herman (musical director), Trilok Gurtu, Elina Duni, Marcus Miller, Ziv Ravitz, and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

FREE PROGRAM IN 4 ACTS

The public is also invited to the party! the Montreux Jazz Academy offers the public a rich and extremely engaging lineup of free program. This will unfold in four parts each day:

  • 5pm : A workshop will be presented by an Academy mentor or by an invited guest, like film music composer John Altman
  • 6pm: Montreux concerts by artists like Nina Simone, Ray Charles, or Marvin Gaye will be brought back to life in an archive concert screening
  • 8pm : a thematic concert will be held based on a different style (funk, Latino, electro...)
  • 9pm : Jam sessions after the concert

The activities of the Montreux Jazz Academy will for the first time be centralized in the facilities of the University of Music Lausanne (HEMU) and of the Ecole de Jazz et de Musique Actuelle (EJMA), in a location that is both steeped in learning and bubbling with music, a perfect fit with the philosophy of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation.

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Submissions 2017

Submissions 2017

The submissions for the Montreux Jazz Competitions 2017 are now closed!

Deadline for submissions : March 1st 2017 included (UTC +01 :00)

The 2017 Montreux Jazz Competitions will take place during the 51st edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival, from 30 June to 15 July. The 3 top finishers from each competition will earn spots at the 4th Montreux Jazz Academy, a week-long intensive training program in close contact with prestigious mentors.

Al Jarreau, beyond jazz

Al Jarreau, beyond jazz

Right up to the end, Al Jarreau maintained an endless desire for sharing and openness. Today we pay homage to a major artist and friend of the Festival.

His voice was a saxophone, a snare drum or a double bass. His improvisations went well beyond traditional scat: Al Jarreau knew how to imitate every sound, every instrument. The Montreux public got a good idea of his faculty for improvisation at his first visit to the Festival in 1976. Except for his pianist, none of his musicians could be there that day. So Al Jarreau started singing as though he were the entire orchestra.

Today, it is with emotion that we think back on the magical moments that punctuated his 16 editions at the Festival. Al Jarreau always managed to build bridges between genres. And all the collaborations he participated in at Montreux! He was equally classy as he lent his voice to feverish blues with Santana or a delicate duet with Randy Crawford. In 1991, he participated in the event “From bebop to hip-hop”, at the crossroads of rap and jazz, orchestrated by Quincy Jones.

Immensely generous, Al Jarreau had a deep and abiding love of sharing his passion. His dearest wish was for everyone to find theirs. As a mentor at the Montreux Jazz Academy and as president of the jury for the voice competition, Al Jarreau transmitted his knowledge, his talent, and his open mind to the younger generations. In 2015 he was left speechless by the performance of young South African singer Vuyo Sotashe. When he was asked if he was ready to take on that role again this coming March, Al Jarreau didn’t hesitate an instant.

Fate decided otherwise. His final visit to Montreux, last summer, will forever symbolize the strong ties between the singer and the Festival. After an intimate concert at the Club and an emotional workshop, he participated in the 50th anniversary evening organized by Quincy Jones. “I’m sitting in a chair and I dance better today than when I could stand on two feet!”, he confided to the Festival.

Passion, all the way. 

 

 

Esteban Castro, 13 years old, wins the 2016 piano competition

Esteban Castro, 13 years old, wins the 2016 piano competition

He’s the youngest person in the history of the competitions in Montreux! Esteban Castro from America – who is only 13 years old – has won the prestigious competition this year. Yaron Herman was president of the jury. The other jurors were RTS journalist Yvan Ischer, Moods Zurich programmer Carine Zuber, and Julie du Luxembourg, member of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation’s board.

The standard was very high in this competition based on solidarity and improvisation. Just 15 days before the competition began, Yaron Herman decided to shake up the participants’ program by changing their set pieces without warning, forcing them out of their comfort zones.

1ST PRIZE: ESTEBAN CASTRO

Esteban Castro is a pianist and composer from the New York area. He has garnered multiple awards, such as the ASCAP Foundation’s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, the DownBeat Student Awards for Best Compositions and Best Soloist, and the Charles Mingus and Essentially Ellington Outstanding Soloist Awards. He has already recorded three award-winning albums that critics have described as “beaming with creative energies,” “surpassing all expectations,” and showing that, “while the pianist still might, in fact, be just a boy, he is already his own man.” He attends the Manhattan School of Music on a scholarship and performs with the Jazz House Big Band.

Second and Third Prizes went, respectively, Guy Mintus from Israel and Casimir Liberski from Brussels, Belgium.

THE THREE TOP FINISHERS WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE THIRD MONTREUX JAZZ ACADEMY FROM 3 TO 10 MARCH 2017.

Arta Jekabsone Wins The 2016 Voice Competition

Arta Jekabsone Wins The 2016 Voice Competition

Young Latvian Arta Jekabsone has won the Shure Montreux Jazz Festival Voice Competition. Angélique Kidjo was president of the jury. The other jurors were French composer and producer Jérôme Badini from Radio France, Joe Farmer, a journalist for Radio France International, Thomas Rees from magazine Jazzwise, Mike Novogratz, vice president of the Jazz Foundation of America and Wendy Oxenhorn, executive director of the Jazz Foundation of America and member of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation’s board.

There was a very high standard of competition in the semi-finals. It was particularly difficult to choose between the finalists in this voice competition – they really captured the public’s imagination. The final ended with a capella improvisation.

Inspired by the quote “Love what you do and do what you love” (Ray Bradbury), Arta Jekabsone, who was born in Latvia, found fulfilment in singing. She also studied violin for nine years. Last year, she graduated from the popular Riga Choir Cathedral School, where she studied jazz. She now has a scholarship at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, where her mentors include Janet Lawson, Kate Baker, Reggie Workman, La Tanya Hall, Cecil Bridgewater and Richard Boukas.

The second prize was won by Germany’s Eric Leuthäuser and the third prize went to Fabio Giacalone from Italy.

THE THREE TOP FINISHERS WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE THIRD MONTREUX JAZZ ACADEMY THIS FALL, FROM 3 TO 10 MARCH 2017.

Finland’s Olli Hirvonen wins the 2016 guitar competition

Finland’s Olli Hirvonen wins the 2016 guitar competition

Olli Hirvonen, a young Finn based in Brooklyn, New York, has just won the famous Socar Montreux Jazz Electric Guitar Competition. The jury was presided over by John McLaughlin, and was composed of Swiss blues musician Philipp Fankhauser, local journalist Pierre-Philippe Cadert, Claudio Cappellari, the co-Director of Zurich’s prominent music venue Moods, and guitarist and member of the Montreux Jazz Festival Board, Xavier Oberson. Camaraderie abounded as this guitar competition for the 50th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival unfolded at an extremely high level—to the point that, for the first time in the history of the jazz competitions at Montreux, the finale evolved into a powerful jam session that brought together all the competitors and several members of the jury for a closing musical ensemble.

Well-versed in every electric skillset, from jazz to rock to more experimental sounds, he has developed a unique style navigating between these genres. Hirvonen has degrees from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Manhattan School of Music. His young career can already boast of some impressive accolades, including Artist of the Year of the Pori Jazz Festival in 2011 and Performer of the Year 2014-2015 for the Finlandia Foundation. He has featured on numerous recordings and released his first album, Detachment, in April 2014.

Second and Third Prizes went, respectively, to 22-year-old English guitarist Rob Luft and Israel’s Tal Yahalom, also based in New York.

THE THREE TOP FINISHERS WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE THIRD MONTREUX JAZZ ACADEMY THIS FALL, FROM 3 TO 10 MARCH 2017.

Our mission

Our mission

The Montreux Jazz Festival has always had two sets of ears when it comes to deciding which acts to invite. On the one hand, it is a a world-class venue for musical giants who, ever since the first festival, have come to make their mark. But it is also a sounding-board for little-heard voices, a breeding ground for new talent, where artists take their first tentative steps before spreading their wings and setting off for new horizons.

This vital role of springboard, so dear to Claude Nobs' heart, has been performed since 2007 by the Montreux Jazz Foundation 2. Each year, for the two weeks of the Festival, the Foundation has opened up a dialogue between artists and audiences, inviting us to connect and discover, and fostering meaningful cultural ties within the Festival's incredible venues. The Foundation is taking a whole new dimension as it becomes the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation.

Of course, the Foundation will continue to hold its now-legendary competitions, as well as its intimate and spectacular concerts each July. But the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation will also work year-round on its mission as a musical world-weaver and accompanist to the musical giants of tomorrow. And with the creation of the Montreux Jazz Academy, designed to guide budding artists as they burst onto the professional scene, the Foundation is proclaming a powerful message: the future of Jazz is bright - and it starts in Montreux.